For the past year, at CLS, the CaSyS project team (SWIM’s Calval Systematic) has been developing diagnostics to understand and analyze the data from CFOSAT, a Franco-Chinese satellite that was successfully launched on October 29, 2018. In about ten days, CLS’ experts will have the pleasure of discovering the mission’s live data!
In collaboration with CNES, Ifremer, MétéoFrance and LATMOS, our team will ensure that the instrument is functioning properly, that the measurements are in line with theory, and provide the scientific community with validated products and performance analyses.
The CFOSAT satellite contains two instruments on board, a Chinese scatterometer, called SCAT, to measure winds, and a wave scatterometer, developed by CNES, called SWIM. SWIM is the first Ku-band radar in orbit that will operate with six beams on a turntable dedicated to ocean wave characterization. CLS, with its expertise in nadir altimetry for 25 years and SAR imagery (aperture radar satellite) as Mission Performance Center (MPC) for the European Sentinel-1A and 1B satellites, is well positioned to verify the validity of the SWIM instrument’s first data.
The main users of its data are meteorologists for weather forecasting and climatologists who wish to understand the exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, interactions that play a key role in the climate system. Many applications are also planned in the field of operational oceanography as the valuable wind and wave measurements provided by the CFOSAT satellite will be fed into sea state forecasts.
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